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Speak No Evil Allison Brennan

Speak No Evil

Allison Brennan

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OneHer death had not been easy.Homicide detective Carina Kincaid stared at the dead, naked corpse of the young woman, avoiding the wide-eyed terror etched on her face. Her mouth was gagged, but what drew Carinas eye was the word slut scrawled inMoreOneHer death had not been easy.Homicide detective Carina Kincaid stared at the dead, naked corpse of the young woman, avoiding the wide-eyed terror etched on her face. Her mouth was gagged, but what drew Carinas eye was the word slut scrawled in thick black marker across her chest. A small red rose was tattooed on her left breast.The victim lay in a disjointed fetal position, dried blood on her legs and vicious red welts on her breasts, indicating that her murder had followed a sexual assault. In California, that made the killer eligible for the death penalty. One small step toward justice, but it didnt satisfy Carina. This Jane Doe would still be dead.She glanced away from the body, just for a moment, and watched the waves roll up the beach. Back and forth, calming. Her cheeks stung from the early-morning salt air, but in just a few hours shed be tugging off her windbreaker as the sun peaked over San Diego.When she first arrived on the scene with Jim Gage, supervisor of the Forensic Field Services Unit of the San Diego Police Department, they immediately documented that the evidence had been contaminated. Three layers of heavy-duty green garbage bags had been cut away from the body. The park ranger hadnt been able to lift what he thought was trash, so he sliced it open. What had he been thinking?I didnt think there was a body inside, hed said when Carina questioned him.By the tension in Jims jaw, it was obvious that he was pissed. But true to form he didnt say anything. He never said anything, which had been the primary reason Carina had broken up with him last year. She could handle his moodiness--she had four brothers, she could put up with almost anything--but his refusal to talk about what bugged him, on the job and off, was a relationship breaker.Or maybe they hadnt loved each other enough to make it work.Carina glanced behind them when she heard a car approach. The coroners van pulled into the empty parking lot and a short, trim, well-dressed Asian man exited the vehicle. Assistant Coroner Ted Chen, the perfectionist. Carina liked it when he pulled one of her cases, even if he made her a bit self-conscious. She triple-checked her reports when he was the responding coroner, afraid to appear the novice despite her nearly eleven years on the job.Doctor Chen is here, she told Jim.Hmm. Jim finished photographing the body and surrounding area, glancing up as Doctor Chen crossed the sand to where the body lay. Hello, Ted.Gage. Detective. Chen nodded toward the victim. Was the body found in this condition?The bag had been intact. The park ranger opened it.Why on earth would he do that?Jim removed his wire-rim glasses and rubbed his eyes with his forearm. Thought it was filled with garbage and planned on taking multiple trips to dispose of the contents.Chen shook his head in disgust, his thin lips a tight line. He knelt in the sand, careful to prevent further granules from rolling into the plastic. She suffocated, he said quietly.You mean she was put into the bag alive? Carina asked for clarification.It would appear s